Friday, May 1, 2015

Flexibility Planning For Homeschooling


This is the one thing about homeschooling I really love. As I start to plan for the next year, I realize that yet again - our schedule will change.


As a working parent, I've had to be able to take a 'mental health' day, slide our schedule, shorten a day, do work on the evening and weekend. Also, taking work on the road trips or switching to a less demanding curriculum is a way to augmenting schedules when needed.


This is a lifesaver. We put our more vigourous schedule of courses in the Fall when we are really motivated with the new year and it last 6 to 8 weeks, then we add a new set of classes. It's set up similar to a College Schedule of 5 weeks/ 8 weeks of specified course instruction. We make the schedule very light in the Spring Time and now plan to take the summers off.


With our working schedules, we sometimes have to move school days to the weekends. It gives us the flexibility to let the kids be involved in many extra-curricular activities that they loved when in traditional school. As well as it allows us to work our jobs and still be available for our kids to get work done.


Worboxes is a must for us. Keeps us organized and makes the kids more independent. Lesson Plans and weekly schedules help to keep us all on track. Curriculums that are well laid out and pre-planned has made organizing school easier. Location! Location! Location! is the key to getting kid motivated to do work. Find what works for your kid to 'spark them'.


Don't get attached, tied too, or grounded in a curriculum that isn't working for you or your family. Using a 'BLOCK' schedule or 'QUARTER' schedule allows you to figure out what's not working faster and to 'give yourself permission' to change things up often. Almost like a college schedule.


If you don't meet your goals for your kids learning for the year, just keep on working through the summer. We do this around my kids activities.


My kids and I have set down after I finished up their report cards for this school year, and their 'Review Forms' that I submitted to our Umbrella group, to decide on the 'Way Forward'.

Tiger Lilly's Goal:
*Desires to be a Game Designer and Developer*

Focus on getting AA degree with High School Diploma (like her sister Rose did)
Build her Game Design Programming and Animation Portfolio
Find more STEM events that focus on Girls

Speed Racer's Goal:
*Still undecided about 'career' but likes to build Video Games and thinks being a Surgeon would be cool*

Build up Math Core skills (finish off Middle School Math)
Learn Game and Website programming languages
Do more fun hands on projects

Mom & Dad's Goal:

Gain better flexibility in Work Schedules
Support the kids with curriculums that are easy for us both to administer
Stick with DVD based, Computer based curriculums
Hire a weekly tutor for Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly as needed

Our last day of school will be May 15th, then we'll have Math daily when the kids aren't in camp or traveling.


Sliding into the last week!

Speed Racer, 6th grader

This week we are winding down. Only doing, Math with Teaching Textbooks Math 6. Language Practice and Fraction practice with (IXL). Writing, Spelling, Reading, are all our Spectrum workbooks this week.
Seems we will only be doing 'Math' daily for the summer. At least for the weeks he isn't at sleep away camp.

Breakdancing competitions last week were SO FUN to watch! His Lacrosse team has had a losing streak. But Speed Racer doesn't care because his brother Razor Ray has been practicing with him one on one on Thursdays and allowing to hang out at the college with him.

Tiger Lilly, blended 9th grader
Tiger Lilly's finishing up some of her final projects in her Community College courses in Interpersonal Communication and Art Appreciation. May 10th is when everything has to be turned in.

Her final projects in Web Design with and Python (with Landry Academy) are being completed this coming weekend. This weekend is her last Digipen-Animation with 3D Maya class. She didn't work on her using Blender Animation at all this week. The Psychology class with Currclick on Monday is also closing next week with 3 quizzes she is finishing over the weekend. Can you tell she got a little behind?

Her scores in US History to 1877 using Instantcert are improving, now over 51% and shows she is ready for the test. So we may attempt to let her take the CLEP next week. Pre-Calc is still going well with the integrated IXL for extra practice.

Meals. I nailed it this week! I think this is one of 7 weeks I had dinner on the table everyday without having to purchase a fast food meal for the week. Hubby helped me out this week which probably explains how I got this done. 

Cleaning. We did wash and fold clothes, kept the main floor clean and realized the basement and the floors need a really good do over.

Work & Life Balance. I am preparing to start a new job! This means that I will be working a total of 7 days before we leave for Hawaii. I was so greatful my new job allowed me to still go on vacation.

Lesson Planning. Starting to build list for what we are going to be purchasing for curriculum for next school year. Also, had to turn in final year in Review forms to my Umbrella (this was brutal! Took all week). I did the weekly lesson plans pretty fast though.

Rest. I actually made it a point to get more this week. I took a nap daily and got about 6 hours sleep through the night. It's easy since the kids really don't have a vigorous schedule.

Marriage Check Up. Hubba and I went to a business pitch get together. We both are into start up businesses (have one we are currently running together) and thought this would be a great way to meet new people and get re-motivated. We had a blast and did see some old friends since it was at the college we both attended.

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